Unidentified body found in search for family of four missing off Sanibel Island after leaving Sarasota

The four missing Kimberly family members.
The four missing Kimberly family members. U.S. Coast Guard

The U.S. Coast Guard reported it found a body in the search for father and three teenage children missing since Sunday off Florida’s Gulf Coast.

“There was a body found in the search area,” Petty Officer 3rd Class Eric Woodall told the Herald on Wednesday evening. “We haven’t made a positive identification yet.”

Woodall said the search for the missing family will continue through Thursday and there will be another press briefing at 10 a.m. Thursday in St. Petersburg.

According to Bay News 9, Coast Guard officials said Ace Kimberly, 45; his sons, 13-year-old Roger; 15-year-old Donny; and 17-year-old daughter Rebecca were last heard from Sunday morning.

Officials said Wednesday a debris field was located about 30 miles off Sanibel Island. Six life vests, water bottles, tarp, propane tank and a basketball were found along with two kayaks that were attached to the back of the boat.

“Finding the kayak(s) and life jackets signals that we are in a dire situation,” said Capt. Greg Case, commander of Coast Guard sector St. Petersburg, according to Bay News 9. “We are continuing to keep in very close contact with the family and keep them updated on all developments during this difficult time. Locating the debris inside of our search field indicates that we are in the right area, and we are aggressively searching for Ace, Becky, Donny and Roger.”

According to Bay News 9, Coast Guard officials in St. Petersburg received a report from a concerned family member of the missing sailors stating the family left Sarasota at 7 a.m. Sunday en route to Fort Myers to repair their sailboat.